Intensive animal feeding practices for optimum feed utilisation
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Decreasing farm size and the opportunity to market livestock products has promoted the development of intensive production systems in East and souther Africa. This paper reviews the characteristics of the common feed resources used in small-scale intensive farming systems in eastern and southern Africa. The data analysed show that reasonable responses are possible from growing heifers and lactating cows fed cultivated fodder. Crop residues, on the other hand, need supplementation with concentrates or forage legumes to sustain animal production. Constraints to intensive feeding identified include shortages of land, feed and labour. It is suggested that economics will ultimately dictate the solution to the three-way interaction between feed availability, intensive feeding systems and labour.
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